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NEWS FACTS ON CUBA

Ordinaries in Cuba
  • Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba
    Erected a diocese in 1522, as main diocese in island.
    Diocese of the town of Cobre, where the image of Our Lady of Charity is enshrined.
    Archbishop Pedro Meurice Estiu
    b.1932
    Made Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba – 1970
    Motto: Ven Señor Jesús/Come Lord Jesus

 

  •  Archdiocese of La Habana
    City founded in 1515, diocese erected in 1787.
    Jaime Lucas Cardinal Ortega Alamino
    b. 1936
    Made Archbishop of La Habana – 1981
    Elevated to Cardinal – 1994
    Member of Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Pontifical Counsel for Sanitary Operations[??], and of the Congregation for the Clergy, as well as Vice President of CELAM.
    Motto: Te basta mi gracia / My grace is sufficient unto thee.
    Auxiliary bishops: Bishop Alfredo Petit Vergel
    b. 1936
    Bishop Carlos Baladrón Valdés
    b. 1945
  •  Diocese of Pinar del Río
    Erected a diocese in 1903.
    Bishop José Siro González Bacallao
    b. 1930
    1982 ordained bishop.
    Motto: Estoy aquí Señor para hacer tu voluntad. / Here I am, Lord, to do Your will.

  

  • Diocese of Cien Fuegos
    Erected 1903.
    Bishop Emilio Aranguren Echeverría
    b. 1950
    Made bishop of Cienfuegos 1991
    Motto: !Animo! / Courage!

  

  • Diocese of Camagüey
    Town was founded in 1514, and until 1912 was part of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba.
    Bishop Adolfo Rodríguez Herrera
    b. 1924
    Ordinary bishop of Camagüey since 1964.
    Motto: Es bueno confiar en el Señor / It is good to trust in the Lord.
    Auxiliary Bishop: Bishop Juan García Rodríguez
    b. 1948

  

  • Diocese of Matanzas
    Created in 1912.
    Bishop Mariano Vivanco Valiente
    b. 1933
    Ordained bishop 1987.
    Motto: En Tu palabra echaré la red / I will throw the net at your word. (Lk. 5:5) 

 

  • Diocese of Holguín
    Created in 1970
    Bishop Héctor Luis Lucas Peña Gómez
    b. 1929
    Bishop of Holguín since 1979
    Motto: !Cuán incomprensibles son los designios de Dios! / How unscutable are the designs of God! 

 

  • Diocese of Santa Clara
    Created in 1995.
    Bishop Fernando Prego Casal
    b. 1927
    Ordained bishop in 1971.
    Motto: Por ustedes y por todos. / For you and for all.

 

  • Diocese of Ciego de Ávila
    Created in 1996
    Bishop Mario Mestril Vega
    b. 1940
    Pastor of the parish of Ciego de Ávila, and Auxiliary Bishop of Diocese of Camagüey, he became bishop of Ciego de Ávila when the town was erected a diocese in 1996
    Motto: El Señor es mi pastor, nada me falta. / The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

  

  • Diocese of the Santísimo Salvador de Bayamo-Manzanillo
    The town of Bayamo was founded in 1513, the second in all of Cuba.
    Erected a diocese in 1996.
    Bishop Dionisio Guillermo García Ibáñez
    b. 1945
    Ordained bishop in 1996.
    Motto: Tu brazo me sostiene. / Your arm upholds me.


 Historical notes on the Catholic Church in Cuba:

  Jan de Witte, first Bishop of Cuba, wrote a scathing letter to Emperor Charles V, accusing the crown of treating unjustly the colonies in the New World.

The first schools opened in Havana were:

1568 : Jesuit Fathers

1574 : Franciscan Friars

1578: Dominican Friars

Bishop Jerónimo Valdès inagurated a Foundling House for abandoned children. The Bishop gave his name to each abandoned child.

In 1754, Bishop Pedro Agustìn Morell of Santa Cruz interceded and defended before King Philip V the miners of El Cobre, who were in revolt against the Crown. His intervention succesfully averted represive measures against them.

At the end of the eighteenth century, the Church had founded, and oversaw, practically all of the schools and hospitals then in operation in Cuba, with practically no help from the authorities.

Anthony Mary de Claret, later canonized by the Church, was Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba. He evangelized widely throughout the region and he started an agrarian reform movement with land belonging to the Church.

In 1819, Franciscan Friar Josè de la Cruz Espì, better known as Father Valencia, opened St. Lazarus Hospital for Lepers. He solicited money house to house for five years in order to get enough funds to erect the building .

In 1825 he founded the first hospital for women.

He also directed the construction of the San Roque Hospice for pilgrims, and welcomed any who needed shelter for the night.

He oversaw construction of the Tìnima River Bridge, still in operation today.

All his life he slept on a wooden board and a brick for a pillow.

In 1881 , Discalced Carmelites volunteer to be inoculated with Yellow fever in order to help health authorities find a cure for the disease.

In 1959, the Latin American Episcopal Conference reported that there were 62,000 studends in 212 catholic schools in Cuba.

 

 

Source: Cinco Siglos de SERVICIO, Mèndez Martìnez, Roberto (Camaguey, 1958)

and Joaquìn Estrada Montalván, (La Habana, 1968).



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